Moderator: Cassi, or Nicky, or anybody who wants to kind of join in and, if anybody wants to just quickly answer this question, just is there something anybody would just put out here that you would hope people take away from this movie? It seems something people have asked many, many times. I have a handful of emails asking that question. Is there something that you think would be important for someone who watches this to get out of it?
Nicolas Cage: Well Hi, this is Nicolas Cage and I was just listening and I, I’d like to answer that question. I was very taken by the family dynamic that plays out in this script. And that’s what drew me to the project. That and an opportunity to work again with Vic Armstrong. I had a good rapport with him on another movie. So I felt that I could get to where I wanted to go with Captain Steele. Because this is, this is a person who is in an extraordinary situation and realizes really what his values are through the, he reaches a catharsis through the experience of this extraordinary flight that he’s on. And, gets back to the heart which is his relationship with his family, which is his relationship with “Chloe” his daughter which is so powerfully, she’s so powerful Cassi Thomson in the movie. And I think that that’s what I want, if there’s anything for me, I want that to come across that people realize, yeah we all make mistakes but in a moment of crisis what we really want, what we really go to, go back to is, the love we have for our families. And that’s what, that’s what pulled me in, into this, into this project. That, and also how you make such an extraordinary set of circumstances authentic and how do you make that real and that was a tremendous challenge for, for all the actors to, to play it almost Cinéma vérité that this is really happening and we’re really believing in this situation and it’s to, to convey that to the audience is the challenge. I’ve always been attracted to movies that aren’t afraid to venture into the unknown. City of Angels, movies that were knowing, movies that aren’t afraid to face the possibility of these extraordinary circumstances and, and the challenge of making that real.
Moderator: That’s great. Thank you so much Nicolas we knew you were going to get on and we really appreciate you joining us so, thank you so much. Everyone has anxiously been awaiting your arrival here. So we’re going to ask you a few questions here. And then, you know I had said at the beginning of the call if there’s anything that, you know, you want at anytime or anybody from the cast just wants to interject or add in that maybe we’re not asking specifically. One of the things we’re getting a lot of questions about that people are writing in is, you know, we’re all fans of your interviews, we know you’ve worked on many different types of roles, you’ve probably already been asked this but people here would really like to know, what about this script or what regarding the movie in general, you know, I know you’ve mentioned things about, you know, your brother before, you’ve mentioned things about just, you know, we’ve all talked, I don’t know if you heard us, a little earlier in the call about, you know The Leftovers, and other, like, shows that are out right now, kind of speaking to end-times. Is there anything regarding just culture today or anything that you could share about you know, why you would say yes to a movie like this?
Nicolas Cage: Well again, I, I really said yes on the merits of the screenplay. And also to work with, to work with Vic again, the director. I think all artists, if you’re tapped in, if you’re tuned in, to the zeitgeist, you know when they’re open to that, they’re going to pick up on, on that. And things happen I think, I really believe things happen collectively around the world that, people get thoughts and they start, you know, I didn’t know about The Leftovers. I didn’t know that was a television show that was already happening but you can pick up on these things. I mean, at one time I think someone invented a steam train in one part of the world and another person was inventing the same thing and they had never talked. So I mean, there are times when you can, you can, you can tap into something subconsciously. But that wasn’t on my mind, I wasn’t aware of any of it. I just felt that the script was a challenge and it gave me a chance to really try to make the extraordinary, believable. And, and to do something authentic within performance so that everything around me was, was going into chaos. People were just appearing on the airplane and how did I make that organic? How did I make that authentic? And again, all the actors, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, they were all on-point. And I find that exciting. To me, it was, it was an exercise and I’m very happy with the results.
Moderator: That’s great. So the story centers on “Rayford Steele” and his daughter "Chloe”. How do you describe their relationship? How does it relate even maybe to your own thoughts as a father? What makes them relatable characters and for most of the people on the call here, they haven’t seen the film. Explain a little bit about your relationship there and why this matters in this movie.
Nicolas Cage: Well I mean “Ray Steele” is a, he’s a captain of a jumbo jet, a transatlantic jumbo jet going, you know to London, England. And, you know, he’s, he’s, he’s an important guy on that airplane and he has a flirtation and this, there’s, there’s a chemistry that’s happening with the flight attendant, so marvelously played by Nicky Whelan and he loses track, you know, he loses sight of what’s really valuable to him in terms of you know, his treasures within which is his love for his family. He’s kind of, not that he’s a bad guy but he’s making a mistake that many people make that are in powerful positions where they, you know lose track of the importance of family. They’re drawn away, or they’re seduced or they’re taken from their true inner-values by, by, by something attractive, or something flirtatious, or something that, that has the call of the wild. And they lose their place, and what I like about that is that many people do it. But that “Ray Steele” gets back to his true need for family through this experience, through this extraordinary experience and understands the value of family and just wants to get back to that no matter what happens. Just to be able to get back on the phone with his daughter. Say I’m sorry. And say “I love you.” And I think that’s, it’s as simple as that. I think that is heart-wrenching. And if you have a heart, I don’t think it’s possible to see the movie and not get a little verklempt. I mean it, there’s some very poignant, emotional moments.
Moderator: Yeah. Great. Was there, is this the first time you’ve really heard about this story? Like when you heard about the potential (inaudible) people being taken away from the earth or disappearing. Is this the first time like, the rapture was kind of a new concept…(cut off).
Nicolas Cage: No, no. I’m familiar with the rapture of course. I mean, I’m not familiar with it in any aspect outside of what the bible says, but you know, I was not familiar with the LEFT BEHIND series. My brother, Mark, is a Christian pastor, and he was very excited about this. And he said, you know, Nicky, you’ve really got to to do this. I mean this is a, and so I, I, you know I’d already wanted to make the movie because I thought it was such a great script and an opportunity again to do something challenging. But when I saw how passionate he was, I thought, well yeah I want to make this movie for my brother too.
Moderator: That’s great. Well I think that you’re making this movie for lots of people because people are very excited about it coming out and it’s got a lot of anticipation around it so people are excited to hear from you. We’re getting lots of questions. And, you know one of the questions too that has come in is, you know, with a lot of the roles that you take that are very heartfelt, there’s a lot of things that you are drawn to, or that you play where you tell a human story with a larger than life narrative. Is that something you, you love to play just because it really has the potential to affect people in their lives deeply? Or is it usually just like you said with this one where it’s the script or is there something about that, that is just meaningful to you because you probably see it affect people in a positive way.
Nicolas Cage: Well there’s, I mean if you look at my filmography, there’s no secret to the fact that I, I am drawn to movies that aren’t afraid to take on spiritual themes. And you know, without going into my own personal, you know, spirituality which is very sacred to me and not something that I think is, you know for public consumption or to be put on the, or in the media but, but I like to let my work speak for me. I like to find movies that allow me to explore these inner or outer worlds through the work without having to really talk too much about it.
Moderator: Yeah that’s, that’s great and you do a fabulous job doing it. So, you may know that we have most of the cast on the call and then we have Paul LaLonde, we have Vic Armstrong on with us. Paul, Vic is there anything, since we have Nicolas on the line with us now that you want to make sure is said, or that is just communicated on this call? I know people have been hearing a lot of really great things. I want to remind people on this call too that you can view the trailer and you can get a lot of information at LeftBehindMovie.com. And, you know I’ve been telling you throughout this call where you can get a lot of the press materials, LeftBehindMovie.OnlineMediaSpot.com. So, you know, we would encourage you guys if you have more questions, feel free to keep emailing them in. And if you, you know need more information again, again I know I’ve said it before, but you can get the production notes at these websites. And so, Paul or Vic is there anything that you want to still bring up here, or even Nicolas, Cassi, Nicky, anybody that’s on the call, is there anything that you want to also add in that maybe has, you know sparked a thought from you that you want to include here before we wrap up this call?
Vic Armstrong: Hi this is Vic. Hi Nic. Welcome. (chuckling).
Nicolas Cage: Hi.
Vic Armstrong: So what was, what was interesting with what you’re saying there, I go back to when we sat down to discuss this script at Great Fosters at Egham in London before you flew out and I flew out here. We actually sat down and we, we both agreed we loved the script which was, you know the basis for any movie and we both loved the script but what was fascinating when I think back to it, all we discussed was our families and how this would affect our families. And how people aren’t 100% pure. They do wave a slightly left or right on their journey through life. And it’s what you said there, it’s when “Ray Steele” does see the light. And he goes back to, to his family, and his love for his daughter and everything else. To me it’s fascinating, it brought it all back, hearing you say that. Because we didn’t discuss the nuances of the characters. We’ve discussed in general how much your family does lead you through life and how much they mean to all of us. So that was wonderful to re-live that again.
Nicolas Cage: Yes. And also I, the only other thing that I would mention is that I, I want this movie to work for people, for me, of all faiths. It’s about when you have those moments there really are no atheists in fox holes. And so when you’re in a crisis, in a crisis like that, I want people from all faiths be able to say, you know, we’re, we’re all invited to the table. I mean we’re all going to get something from this movie.
Vic Armstrong: Exactly. Yeah.
Moderator: Yeah. That’s great. So since Vic just spoke up, Nicolas you may be kind of, we’ll all wrap this up here momentarily. It would just be great to hear you speak to what it was like to work with Vic Armstrong as your director. Right in front of him (laughing).
Nicolas Cage: Well actually I’m very comfortable working with Vic. I got to spend quite a bit of time with him on another movie that we made, called Season of the Witch. And it was a good experience and I thought that he directed me to a good performance and something that I was very proud of and wanted to work with him again. I, I knew that I would be able to relax with him and that I would be able to go within and just sort of exhale and be in the moment, be in the scene. That he would allow his actors to breathe and to be relaxed and to find the truth of their performances. And it really shows in the movie. I mean, across the board, of Chad Michael Murray, and Nicky, and Cassi again just, just powerfully real performances. And I knew that that would happen working again with Vic.
Moderator: Mmm hmmm. Great. And one last thing, you touched on a little bit but I know you have spoken to how just the importance of family and just how you really want people to take away from this too just how important that is. Is there anything more that you could just share with people about how this movie, does, kind of draw people to want to, I mean I know you mentioned that you know, the, the entire concept of the movie is about making sure, you know where your family is and thinking about them but is there something just about family to this movie that meant something personally to you as well?
Nicolas Cage: Well, anytime I make a movie, no matter how, how extraordinary the circumstances of the movie I try to come at it from a place of truth even if it’s truth in my imagination. I don’t want to act. I don’t want, because in that, in some way that implies lying. For me acting is trying to get the truth of an experience in my past or with in my memory almost like an impression and try to make it, you know, real within a performance. Recall it, and then bring it to the situation that my character finds himself in. And, it was, without thinking too much about it or breaking it down too much it was more about recalling emotions that I may have experienced in my own life, and applying them to the relationship between “Ray Steele” and “Chloe”, his daughter. And having a chance to say what I wanted to say through that character. And that, I think I’ve already probably said too much. But, but in other words, I don’t want to fake it, I want it to be authentic. And this character, in this movie, you know, within the context of the extraordinary circumstance gave me the chance to do that.